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Study Abroad Student Meets Australian PM

Jennifer Oh (CAS’08) met Australia’s prime minister during a spring study abroad program.

Jennifer Oh (CAS’08) and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Oh

Jennifer Oh (CAS’08) went to Australia for the spring semester to study, work, and travel, but she soon found that her internship with Australia’s Liberal Party offered more than just work experience.

During the New South Wales state election season last March, Oh knocked on doors with candidates seeking to meet and gain the support of voters in the upcoming election. As a result, she was invited to exclusive social functions, where she met Australian Prime Minister John Howard, whom she’d learned about in her Australian Culture and Society class. She first met Howard at a luncheon fundraiser, and spoke with him again at an after-election party. Footage of their conversation was aired on SBS World News Australia the following night.

Oh hadn’t considered a career in politics before she studied abroad, but now she’s rethinking her plans. “After my experience in Australia, I plan to take a more active role in politics when I get back to the States,” Oh says. “I am most grateful for the cultural experiences and unique opportunities I would never have experienced in my own country.”

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.